The above verse reveals the amazing grace of God.
The Israelite people were unwilling to trust God with their lives by crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Their faithlessness prohibited them from receiving God’s best plan for their lives. Along with that, of course, the people failed to live up to their great task — to reveal God’s glory to the lost people all around them. In other words, they decided to live their lives according to their own plans rather than God’s design. The result was devastating: God was angry enough to wipe them out. Their relationship with God had changed. Sin does that to us.
Here’s the amazing grace part–God says, “I will pardon them as you (Moses) have requested.” What patience and love God has for His people! As scripture states, “His mercies are new every morning!”
Also notice, however, that something has drastically changed through this encounter. Do you see the word “But?” The Hebrew word here is “uwlam.” It means “in contrast” or “on the contrary.” It means there is a variation or flip-side to the situation. And with that, everything changes forever with the this generation of Israelites. They will never enter the land of Canaan. The sin of unbelief has sentenced these people to wander in a meaningless wilderness for the next forty years. Because of their sin, God’s future plans for them have forever changed. They will never live up to God’s highest plan for their lives.
Also realize this: Their lives can still be meaningful…
- They can honor and worship God in their wilderness
- They can obey God commands in the desert
- They can raise up their children to never fail in the way they had failed (and it seems they did a pretty good job of this!)
- They can love one another in their painful wilderness
BUT–they will never have an opportunity to live in God’s best plan for their lives. Their sin, though they are forgiven, has forever changed the trajectory of their lives.
It’s sobering. It’s convicting. It’s truth.
I never want God’s UWLAM in my life…